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  • 11
  • May
Everything always wanted to know about the disease that plagues Pete in the series Dirty Work. We're not doctors but we are good at looking things up on the internet and presenting it to you (almost as good as wikipedia).

1. Cataplexy is real. We didn't make it up, seriously. It's it's a form of narcolepsy. One can have narcolepsy with or without cataplexy. When we talk about cataplexy we're referring to someone with narcolepsy AND cataplexy.

2. Narcolepsy is not rare, cataplexy is rare. According to the National Library of Medicine, is narcolepsy with cataplexy affects 0.02% of adults worldwide.

3. Cataleptic attacks can happen spontaneously however they are normally cause by strong emotions. More often then not they are triggered by udden, strong emotions such as fear, anger, stress, excitement, or humor. Laughter being the most common. So if you have cataplexy don't watch Dirty Work! Just kidding, please do!

4. Pete gets very severe cataplexy attacks. According to the  National Institutes of Health, most attacks are "barely perceptible, involving no more than a momentary sense of slight weakness in a limited number of muscles, such as mild drooping of the eyelids." Severe attacks result in complete loss of tone in all voluntary muscles, "leading to total physical collapse during which individuals are unable to move, speak, or keep their eyes open." This means the person suffering from the attack is not asleep, they are conscious.

5. Cataplexy can't be cured but it can be treated. Two kinds of treatments stimulants and antidepressants. Antidepressants are slightly more affective but both treatments also cause some serious side effects including impotence, high blood pressure, and heart rhythm irregularities.

For more information about narcolepsy and cataplexy visit the National Sleep Foundation.